Not the Reduction We Had in Mind
If you have been following RACblog, you know that we have been discussing the nation’s need to cut its carbon emissions and begin to think seriously about the economic and environmental costs of failing to address our growing carbon footprints. However, you also probably know that sequestration, the massive across-the-board spending cuts and revenue increases that were enacted by congress in 2011 to force both parties to compromise on a solution to the nation’s fiscal issues, went into effect at midnight. While we may not see the direct effects for another couple of weeks, rest assured that baring major congressional action, we will be seeing them shortly.
Many programs will be hurt by these cuts including some significant environmental impacts. First and foremost, there will be cuts to FEMA, including relief money for the damages caused by Hurricane Sandy. About 9% of the recovery activity will be cut. In addition many of the grants issues by FEMA, which fund first responders including police, firemen and EMTs, will see major cuts. In the event of another major storm or other disaster many local communities may suddenly be unable to respond as effectively. National parks will cut hours and visitor services, the effects of which could trickle down to small businesses that depend on tourists visiting the parks for their income.
Regardless of the chaos and disruption that will likely arrive in the next few weeks, there will be a general slowing of the permitting process for oil and gas extraction on federal lands. So we have that going for us…
Image Courtesy of Capitol Markets.